​Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has fired out a warning to midfield pair Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira after they were both excluded from the squad that beat Watford on Sunday.

The duo have faced criticism this season for their underwhelming displays, while the impressive start of January arrival Bruno Fernandes means neither player is guaranteed a place in United's squad. 

The Red Devils ​beat the Hornets 3-0 at Old Trafford without either star, as Bruno scored his first goal and provided an assist.


Speaking after the game Solskjaer compared his new star midfielder to former United players Paul Scholes and Juan Sebastian Veron.

He said: “He [Fernandes] has come in from day one and felt like a presence in the group from the first minute, demanding the ball in training. Some players take some time in warming up, but he felt confident right away. 

"It is a bit of a mix between Scholes and Verón, with the temperament of Verón and a lot of the quality of Scholesy."

Meanwhile, in contrast, Solskjaer also spoke about the notable absences of Lingard and Pereira to ​​MUTV, suggesting the pair need to up their games to get back in the team.

Solskjaer said: "We’ve picked a squad of 18 that we felt it was the right 18 here. We’ve got cover on the bench for wide-men, forwards, midfielders and defenders so that was a decision I made.

"There's more and more competition for places. Your standard has to improve."

The form of both players has been a major concern for United fans for a while now, with the pair - who have become symbols of the perceived declining standards at Old Trafford in recent years - scoring just one goal between them in the Premier League this season.

Solskjaer's seemingly ruthless approach will likely be well received by many United fans. However, it is possible that the likes of Lingard and Pereira will get another chance to prove themselves on Thursday when United play the second leg of their Europa League tie against Club Brugge.

The first leg finished 1-1 in Belgium, so the Red Devils still have work to do if they want to progress against the team sitting at the top of the Belgian Pro League.